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Planetary RadioOctober 10, 2018

Celebrating Astronomy Day with the Giant Magellan Telescope

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On This Episode
Patrick McCarthy Head Shot
Patrick McCarthy

Vice President for Operations and External Relations, Giant Magellan Telescope

Dave Schwartz Head Shot
Dave Schwartz

Integrated Modeling Lead, Giant Magellan Telescope

Emily Lakdawalla 2017 headshot square serene
Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist, The Planetary Society

Bruce Betts Head Shot 2015
Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager, The Planetary Society

Mat Kaplan
Mat Kaplan

Planetary Radio Host and Producer, The Planetary Society

Happy Astronomy Day, October 13, 2018! We salute humankind’s long history of stargazing by checking in on what will be our planet’s largest telescope. Patrick McCarthy is an astronomer and a leader of the Giant Magellan Telescope project. He returns with a report on the instrument’s status, followed by a fascinating tour of the GMT facility. The MASCOT spacecraft has successfully completed its brief mission at asteroid Ryugu. Emily Lakdawalla provides an overview. And the space trivia contest has returned to What’s Up.

Mat Kaplan and Patrick McCarthy

MaryLiz Bender

Mat Kaplan and Patrick McCarthy
Mat Kaplan interviews Patrick McCarthy about the Giant Magellan Telescope for a Planetary Radio episode.
Giant Magellan Telescope Actuator

MaryLiz Bender

Giant Magellan Telescope Actuator
The Giant Magellan Telescope engineering team with a prototype of one of the many actuators (seen in the foreground) that will orient the GMT's giant mirrors.
Mat Kaplan and David Schwartz

MaryLiz Bender

Mat Kaplan and David Schwartz
Mat Kaplan interviews David Schwartz at his workspace in the Giant Magellan Telescope office.
Mat Kaplan at the Giant Magellan Telescope office lobby

Mat Kaplan at the Giant Magellan Telescope office lobby

Trivia Contest

This Week’s Prizes:
A trendy Planetary Radio t-shirt from the Planetary Society Chop Shop store, a 200-point astronomy account, and a signed copy of John Logsdon’s new book, The Penguin Book of Outer Space Exploration—NASA and the Incredible Story of Human Spaceflight.

This week's question:

What rocket launched the Apollo 7 crew 50 years ago?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Wednesday, October 17th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

There was no question last week.


There was no question last week.

Question from the September 26 space trivia contest question:

What is the tallest mountain on Ceres?


There were 156 Delta II launches. Only one of these failed, while one other was a partial success.

Listen more: planetary astronomy, Hubble Space Telescope, Kepler, astronomy, extrasolar planets, stars and galaxies, optical telescopes

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